The Arlington Cultural Council is pleased to announce its 2015 grants, totaling $12,500 (ranging from $200 to $1,200). The 19 grantees and their project summaries follow.

Arlington Art Hunt (Karen Dillon) – An updated version of the original Arlington Art Hunt (2006) and the Bicentenial Art Hunt (2007), both of which highlight Arlington’s landscape, architecture and artistic elements.

“Art. Food. Community.” (Eileen de Rosas and Melody Wolfe Thomas) – These two ceramic artists and educators will produce an integration and enrichment project for the Thompson Elementary School, beginning January 2015. Collaborating with teachers to develop individualized workshops using ceramic arts to deepen understanding of other curriculum areas, each class of the school will take both ceramic-bowl-making and glazing workshops. Of the two bowls created, students will keep one, donating the other to “Arlington EATS,” a nonprofit that works to alleviate food insecurity in Arlington.

A-Town Teen Video Contest (Eric Segal) – Eleven videos produced by Arlington teens were screened at the first A-Town’s 2014 Teen Video Contest in 2014 held at the Regent Theatre for 100 attendees. The two-hour program is emceed by a local official, attended by a panel of “celebrity” judges, and includes an awards ceremony. Teens submit videos by a publicized deadline, that meet published criteria. Grant funds will help increase both participation by teens, and outreach for a larger audience.

Belmont World Film’s 12th Annual Family Festival – For children under ten, a multi-day film festival featuring extraordinary films from around the world, many with English subtitles. Funds will be used for the first night of the film festival (January 16), held at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, to have a professional voiceover artist read the subtitles aloud.

“A Chance to Dress” (Alice Bouvrie) – A film about Dr. John Southard, a respected geologist and Professor at MIT, who is an open cross-dresser. The film explores the various dimensions of identity and the diversity of gender expression, puts a human face on the phenomenon of cross-dressing and neutralizes the stigma against cross-dressers.

Creek River String Band (Stroker Rogovin) – The Band will perform two concerts at events sponsored by Old Schwamb Mill and Spy Pond Environmental Task Group.

Dallin Art Museum-Arlington Public School Days – a program developed in partnership with the Arlington School District to enrich the elementary curriculum through engaging, family-oriented activities at the Cyrus E. Dallin Art Museum in spring 2015. Schools will be invited to the Museum for age-appropriate tours, scavenger hunts and a dream catcher art project.

“Elemental – Art Rocks Spy Pond Park” (Arlington Public Art, Adria Arch) – an exhibition of temporary public art at Spy Pond Park, featuring up to ten sculpture and site-specific installations by local and regional artists that address humans’ relationship to the natural world.

Family Dance at Robbins Farm (Folk Arts Center of New England) – an outdoor folk dance gathering at Robbins Farm during summer 2015, led by accomplished folk dance educator Marcie Van Cleave for beginners, children and participants of all ages, including many older Arlington residents who are active folk dancers, as well as young parents and their children. Marcie has international experience and will use it to increase appreciation of traditional dance and music through active participation.

“I am Arlington” (Nilou Moochhala) – a community and public art project that seeks to highlight the diversity and uniqueness of this town, through interviews to collect the “voices” of a wide swath of community members. The project launch will be a window installation of cards at Maxima Art Center in Spring 2015, and will include installations at different venues.

Images of Arlington: #myArlington [Arlington Center for the Arts (ACA)] – a community photography project that will take ACA’s annual “Images of Arlington” exhibit in a new direction: interactive, crowd-curated and social media-driven. A call for photos will ask folks to document their daily haunts, personal landmarks, local characters, etc.; the photos will be post to an online gallery; the public will crowd-curate the exhibit by “liking” their favorite images; the top 100 will become part of a physical exhibition at ACA.

Legendary Locals of Arlington (Barbara Goodman and Marjorie Howard) – a 128-page book telling the stories of both the famous and the unsung heroes of Arlington. It will include both historic and contemporary figures such as Alan Hovhaness, Cyrus E. Dallin and James McGough, as well as community activists, sports figures and military heroes. The project will include public presentations to a variety of audiences.

The Marble Collection (TMC) – TMC creates a publication that cultivates creativity and excellence in the arts by engaging teen artists and writers in a process that affirms their voices and deepens learning. The only statewide print and online magazine featuring artwork, photography, poetry and writing by students in grades 8-12, the Massachusetts High School Magazine of the Arts is juried and of professional quality. Students are offered one-on-one College-level e-Mentors.

“Meeting of Generations: Arlington Youth Perform Jazz for Seniors” (Dan Fox) – Part of the weekend Fourth Annual A-Town Jazz Festival, run by Dan Fox from Morningside Music Studio, this performance will be free, open to the public and held at the Senior Center. The up-to-eight student ensemble will consist of high school, middle school, and home-schooled jazz musicians performing swing music from the 1930’s and ‘40’s. Assembled and coached by Dan Fox, the group will have two rehearsals. Tom Ferrante will be special guest clarinetist.

Philharmonic Society of Arlington Outdoor Summer Concert – In collaboration with the Friends of Robbins Farm Park, for their annual free performance series, this classical music concert for all ages will run from 6 pm until dusk. The program will include works by R. Strauss, Verdi, Joplin and Gershwin. Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic supper.

Seniors to Kids and Back Again (Joseph Porcino) –The goal of this three-part workshop is to facilitate a sharing of those little and funny moments of our lives with seniors and children, so they may truly see and enjoy each other’s humanity.
Part 1: A third grade class learns storytelling games that help them remember and tell stories from their 9 years. Next, they imagine the thousands of stories seniors must have from all their years of living and brainstorm questions to ask seniors to help elicit those memories.
Part 2: At the Arlington Senior Center later that day, these questions start a workshop on remembering and shaping memories into engaging stories for children.
Part 3: A week later, the class visits the seniors to hear them regale their listeners with their life stories.

Sharing a New Song Chorus Concert (SANS) (Louise Grasmere) – The 90-voice chorus of members from Greater Boston uses choral music to reach across social and political boundaries in the U.S. and other countries to promote intercultural understanding and lasting relationships. They will sing a concert at Arlington First Parish in the Spring of 2015, featuring repertoire for SANS’ upcoming May 2015 Cuba trip. The program will include a diverse selection of music from America and other countries where SANS has traveled. Chorus members will offer reflections on their experiences through a slide show before the concert.

True Stories of Environmental Citizen Action [True Story Theater (TST), Christopher Ellinger] – TST and Arlington’s Vision 2020 Sustainable Arlington (SA) will partner to vividly tell the story of what citizens are doing to sustain the environment. They aim to inspire people to get involved in SA through four ways:
– TST storytelling skills workshop for SA (and local allies) on how to be more effective spokespeople;
– Coaching for up to 6 people to further strengthen the application of these skills;
– Public performance 3/14/15 at the Senior Center, dramatizing SA’s successes, challenges and needs;
– ACMI training of a group of participants to film and edit the performance, broadcast it on local cable TV, and post it on Vision 2020’s website as a “Living Brochure.”

Two to Tango (Richard Clark) – A one hour, two-person play in two acts: Scenes from “The Lion in Winter” by James Goldman and “Visitor from New York” by Neil Simon, at the Arlington Senior Center. Two contrasting scenes take the audience on a bittersweet tour of life, love, marriage and loss. From Henry II’s 12th-century England, to contemporary bi-coastal cultures, this is a journey into the sometimes “foul rag and bone shop” of the human heart. The production’s minimal set/props provide rich content and drama. The characters uplift us with the message that love, even bruised and broken, remains a splendid thing.